Suzuki Kanna is a powerhouse woman with single-minded devotion once she puts her mind to something. Working for a fashion designer, her dream is to someday design clothes that will make women everywhere amazingly attractive.” But her world begins to spin out of control when she discovers that her “loving” hunk of a husband, Rei, is having an affair! Meanwhile, her unreasonable boss dumps loads of work, her husband is a mama’s boy and her mother-in-law drops in unannounced to dote on her son and grandson, and all while Kanna is trying to raise a needy 4-year-old son, Reon. Pushed to a breaking point and battling the world alone, Kanna, however, isn’t one to run, bend or break. Instead, she girds herself for battle, stokes her inner fire and confronts adversity head on, chasing her dream in pursuit of happiness and fulfillment for herself and her son.
(Source: TBS) Add Synopsis In Portuguese
Cast & Credits
- Watanabe NaomiSuzuki Kanna / Katou KannaMain Role
- Kaname JunSuzuki Rei [Kanna's ex-husband]Main Role
- Kawahara EitoSuzuki Reon / Katou Reon [Kanna & Rei's son]Main Role
- Saito YukiSuzuki Ryuuko [Rei's mother]Support Role
- Toyama ToshiyaSuzuki Tetsuzo [Rei's father]Support Role
- Yamaguchi SayakaKataoka Mika [Kanna's boss]Support Role
Let's start by saying that I love Naomi Watanabe. A recurring problem I have with her dramas is that she's either most often pushed to the side as a supporting character/comic relief or, when she's lead, they tend to not let her shine in what she does best. For example, Five Star Tourist was a really good drama that I enjoyed a lot but they hid her behind a pretty bad wig, dull clothes and a personality that didn't let her do the most she could do. This drama lets her be 100% unapologetically herself: Kanna is funny, outspoken, stylish, everything we all love about her. And the plot doesn't revolve around her being plus size, another very recurrent issue in dramas that star plus size leads. She's also playing a fashion designer, on top of that, which is fantastic, considering she has her own clothing line in real life. So far so good.
Another great thing about the drama is that Kanna's relationships with female characters are very complex and interesting. Even the ladies that start being seen as "rivals" end up developing in something less archetypal and more human, which allows for her character to develop as well with these relationships. To be honest, some of these ladies (at least 3 that I counted) end up having more developed relationships with her than the male characters they pair her up with.
Now, if that would have been the drama (which is what the plot up there makes it out to be), if it had been all about Kanna facing life as a divorced mother with a dream to fulfill and bills to pay and facing the world through friendships and heartbreaks one day at a time, that would have been great. But enter the entire plot of Kaname Jun's character, Kanna's cheating husband, Rei (and his god awful parents).
My main issue with Rei's character, believe it or not, isn't that he's a terrible person (you need to read the plot or watch just episode 1 to see that). My problem is that they attempt, throughout the series, to give him a redemption arc, without actually focusing on him understanding his mistakes but just saying that he does and trying to fix them with money and things. It is possible to have redemption arcs with these kinds of characters without compromising the agency of the female lead or the aim of the story. A good example of this is Mondai No Aru Restaurant or even Mother Game, where the reason why the jerk guy faces his mistakes is because he finally understands empathy and sees what he's putting the female character through, but that does not immediately grant them forgiveness (Mondai No Aru Restaurant handled it amazingly well with Higashide Masahiro's character). Rei's arc is about karma punishing him, more so than empathy, so the audience would feel sorry enough for his poor soul to forgive him out of sheer pity rather than having him actually show his understanding of what he's done, besides trying to fix it with material things and empty words.
From any other drama, I would have probably let it pass with an epic eye-roll and a huge sigh. If this was yet another Ishihara Satomi/Kiritani Mirei josei drama of the last few years, I would have expected that sort of thing. But this was Naomi Watanabe kicking butt, being a strong female lead, inspiring me to keep going, and it deserved better than weak male leads raining on the plot's parade. And I'm not even gonna talk much about the character of Rei's mother, but picture the worst mother in law you've seen in a josei adaptation and multiply her annoyance times 10.
The acting is pretty good in this drama, it's very well directed, the clothes Naomi wears are fantastic (the ones she designs, I'm not so sure), it has emotional moments and funny moments, strong friendships and cool female characters, it's overall enjoyable. It just could have been so much more of that without wasting its time in an arc that went against the idea of the story.
I'll keep waiting for the drama that 100% is what Naomi Watanabe deserves as a lead.
If you went into the drama thinking this is about a fun drama about a single woman raising her child but learning to rely on her ex's parents and her ex in raising her child while forging her own career, boy are you in for a surprise! The second half, leading up to the last episode loses whatever spark this drama had. It becomes mundane, serious, and a drag to get through. What the hell happened??? I breezed through the first five episodes. I was amused, I even cried. This was going to be everything I wanted in an Asian drama! For one, the lead actress isn't a tall chopstick. She is a real woman! She had her own agency and put clear boundaries. You wonder, irregardless of the original source, what the hell happened to the spark, the magic and the fun? Well poorly developed half-assed romance/melodrama came into the picture: Rei happened. Plot conveniences happened to shove Kanna back with her ex.
It would be fine if Rei & Kanna were going to be end game from the start. Why shoehorn this shitty idea after all the trials Kanna had to go through? Why tonally shift the tone for the series? Rei had been wishy washy from the start: Rei choosing his girlfriend's opening over being there for Leon's dodge-ball game. He blows her off countless of times in regards to watching Leon. Kanna's character clearly had boundaries. But the writing happened and Kanna no longer had agency for her choices anymore. That went against everything Kanna had said for herself from episode 1. I really went in thinking this was going to be a series where Kanna can really shine without her ex. There was magic in those beginning episodes where she was still single.
Edit: the second half is just about pairing Kanna off with either Nick or Rei. Honestly I don't see much spark or chemistry with either. There's way more chemistry between Kanna and her girlfriends. After the introduction of the love interests, I felt the spark from the earlier episodes were gone.
I jumped right ahead to the travesty that is the final episode to see what other people were talking about. I wanted to prove them wrong! I thought this show was still going to be about family but even divorced couples and their in laws can still be family. That was the tone up until episode 6. I agree with the previous reviewer. It would be loads of fun just to see Kanna handle the challenges of work, solo motherhood, and her girlfriends rather than shoe horn in Rei.
It isn't so much that Rei thinks he can buy Kanna back with a house, it's rather he's been wishy washy about everything. Even his character lacks conviction... He can't decide to stay with his girlfriend's opening or going to his son's dodgeball game. I'm not referring for his feelings for Kanna when it is convenient for him when he isn't dating. It's his inability to commit time for his son. (I'm referring to five episodes of this.) And just to psychoanalyze, how is marriage the end all for being happy? I'm referring to the final scene where Kanna overlooks to the overhead banner that asks: Are you happy? I'm expressing utter disappointment with the conventional ending that seems so forced. I would be more down to the idea of the slightly unconventional family: that divorced couples and their ex's in-laws can still put raising their son over unhappy marriage/romantic love. I went in expecting something modern, but what I got was the most banal, humdrum, half-assed final episodes that are clearly devoid of the original spark that made this fun and engaging in the first place. I would say really the first half is loads of fun and magic. But the ending killed it for me. Not even Kanna herself could save the travesty that is the ending... Tonally, this ended up incredibly inconsistent for me.